Friday's stock surge provides yet another reminder that when it comes to moving the market, there's nothing like a little old-fashioned money printing.
What waits on the other side—asset bubbles, inflation, the prospects for still greater wealth disparity—remains, of course, an issue for another day.
The important thing is that the market wants what the market wants, and the Bank of Japan appears only too happy to comply, announcing a fairly aggressive stimulus package Friday that traders cheered by pushing the major averages back near record territory. The announcement came just two days after the Federal Reserve—the BOJ's U.S. counterpart—said it was ending a quantitative easing program that saw its balance sheet swell by nearly $4 trillion since its inception.
"So much for the end of QE! The Bank of Japan's announcement today that it is stepping up its asset purchases is a timely reminder that not everyone has to follow the Fed," Julian Jessop, chief global economist at Capital Economics, said in a morning note to clients. "Further QE in Japan should help to support equity prices worldwide and especially in the euro zone if expectations build that the (European Central Bank) will follow with full-blown QE of its own. "